Well, that was a crazy game, wasn’t it? The Dodgers offense toiled around all game long only to finally come alive in extra innings, coming from behind to defeat the Philadelphia Phillies, 5-3 at Dodger Stadium. The Matt Kemp from April finally emerged as he hit a walk-off, two-run home run off of Jake Diekman in the 12th inning that helped the Dodgers salvage one game of the three-game series.
The game featured a classic pitching matchup, the Dodgers Clayton Kershaw matching up against Phillies ace, Cliff Lee. And both pitchers did not disappoint. Lee pitched eight strong innings, giving up one run on two hits, while Kershaw also pitched eight innings, giving up one run on five hits. Both offenses, however, failed to provide any run support for their respective aces.
The Dodgers got on the board first, with Juan Rivera smacking his fourth home-run of the year just barely clearing John Mayberry’s glove in left field. It was quite an odd play from Mayberry. It appeared if Mayberry jumped even a bit to catch the ball, he would have. The Dodgers didn’t complain, though. Any offense for them, assisted or not, is a welcome sight.
The lead didn’t last long though. Victorino got on with a single, promptly stole second and came home on catcher Carlos Ruiz’s single to center field. Kemp made a great throw from center to cather A.J. Ellis that looked to be in plenty of time to nab Victorino. Except that Ellis forgot to do one important little thing: he forgot to tag Victorino, who deftly avoided Ellis to tie the score, 1-1.
After that, it was an old-fashioned pitchers duel. Each side got themselves into position to put their teams on top, but each time, the opposing pitcher would shut them down. Kershaw got Hunter Pence to ground out weakly to second in the sixth inning to snuff out a rally and Lee struck Kemp out swinging in the bottom of the sixth to end a Dodger rally.
It looked as if the Phillies would break through and sweep the series after scoring two runs in the top of the 10th on Ruiz’s two-run bases-loaded single off of Dodger reliever Javy Guerra. But the Dodgers, channeling their early-season resolve, answered back in the bottom of the inning. Luis Cruz led off the inning with a double off of Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon. After A.J. Ellis struck out, pinch hitter Bobby Abreu hit a bloop single to left to score Cruz and cut the deficit to one run. Tony Gwynn Jr. then singled Abreu over to third. With two outs, Kemp hit a ground ball deep into the hole at short, where Jimmy Rollins grabbed and fired to first, only to have Kemp beat it out by a hair, allowing Abreu to score the tying run, sending the game into extra innings.
That was all that was needed for Kemp to restore order in Dodger-land. For one day, at least.
About the Author
Written by Simran Reyatt
Growing up in the suburbs of Los Angeles I became passionate about sports around 1988, watching the showtime Lakers and the miracle Dodgers. I have been hooked ever since! Lakers, Raider and Dodgers are my main passions, but really, I'm a huge sports lover as a whole.